Innovative SOFC system layout for stationary power and
Based on a successful lab-type proof of feasibility, a PoC system will be developed that achieves an electrical efficiency of at least 45 % and a thermal efficiency of higher than 85 %. The system will be designed for small-scale CHP and off-grid applications in the power range of 5 to 50 kW. It will be operated with natural gas, but also options for operation with biogas and LPG will be investigated. A techno-economical study will validate business cases and derive requirements from the application side that have a large impact into the design of the system.
The projects targets at the development of a 5 kWel PoC prototype that will show the feasibility of the staged stack connection within a compact, production optimized, scalable and robust system concept. The prototype will be operated according to the load profiles that are derived from the application. Critical components like adiabatic pre-reformer, power electronics and the design of a compact hotbox are addressed within the project. The Proof-of-Concept prototype should reach a maturity that allows a fast evolution to a field test system.
The PoC design is based on a preliminary exploitation plan that takes into account a poten-tial market size and a viable route-to-market. Detailed techno-economic investigations will be performed in order to assess the best business cases for the proposed product.
Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy
€ 527 180
Matti Reinikainen (Dr.)
Sort by EU Contribution
TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT
€ 622 509,80
I.C.I CALDAIE SPA
€ 520 934,80
LAPPEENRANNAN-LAHDEN TEKNILLINEN YLIOPISTO LUT
€ 311 300
ZACHODNIOPOMORSKI UNIWERSYTET TECHNOLOGICZNY W SZCZECINIE
€ 183 800
Grant agreement ID: 621213
1 April 2014
30 April 2018
€ 3 921 223,10
€ 2 165 724,60
Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy
Final Report Summary - STAGE-SOFC (Innovative SOFC system layout for stationary power andCHP applications)
The aim of the STAGE-SOFC project was develop a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) prototype of a new Solid oxide fuel cell-concept with an improved thermal and electric efficiency. The basic idea was to connect two kinds of reformers in series - one Catalytic Partial Oxidation-stage which produces a lot of heat was combined with a heat-consuming steam reformer. The system combined the benefits of the simple and robust CPOX layout with the high efficiencies obtained by the steam reforming process. The system could be kept simple and compact.
Based on a successful lab-type proof of feasibility, a PoC system was developed that achieved an electrical efficiency of at > 45 % and a thermal efficiency of >85 %. The system can be used for small-scale CHP and off-grid applications in the power range of 5 to 50 kW. It will be operated with natural gas, but also options for operation with biogas and LPG were studied.
Besides the technical development work, a larger part of the project was dedicated to the investigation of potential markets, business cases, techno-economic analysis, costs invstigation for different phase of project maturity and finally a LCA to show the advantages of SOFC-based CHP in terms of CO2 emssion reductions
Project Context and Objectives:
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are ideally suited to the conversion of hydrocarbons at high electrical efficiencies. The main application of SOFC systems are small-scale combined heat and power units (CHP) or autarkic power generators, as, compared to gas engine driven power generation, electrical efficiency is essentially independent of system size. Conventional SOFC system layouts are either based on catalytic partial oxidation (CPOx), which are simple and robust but limited to a maximum electrical efficiency of 35%, or on steam reforming, where electrical efficiencies of approx. 50% are achievable but are reliant on error-prone, maintenance-heavy water supplies or costly anode off-gas recirculation. A new concept featuring the serial connection of an exothermal CPOx stage with one or multiple endothermic steam reforming stages was therefore developed. The system combines the benefits of the simple, robust CPOx layout with the high efficiencies achievable using the steam reforming process. air supply facilitates individual stack temperature control and savings in costly heat exchanger area.
Building on successful lab-based proof of feasibility (1st protoype), a proof-of-concept (PoC) system was developed that achieved an electrical efficiency of >45 % at nominal load and >50% in part load. Also the potential of thermal efficiencies of over 80% could be shown. The system was designed for small-scale CHP and off-grid applications and operated in a power range between 1.5 and 5.5 kW.
The second period was dedicated to the testing of the 1st prototype, design and construction of a new hotbox, optimization of components including functional integration and finally construction and testing of the 2nd prototype. As a result, all project targets could be fulfilled with the exception of the 3000 h long-term testing of the system in a simulated CHP environment.
The Consortium consisted of an industrial stack/hotbox developer, a system integrator associated and experienced research institutes charged with addressing specific scientific-technological questions linked to system and component layout: Project highlights were the detailed parametric study of the overall system showing the most economic set of operation parameters, fundamental work on the reforming of anode-off-gas / natural gas mixtures, development of sophisticated power electronics concepts, support of components and module development by CFD simulations, or performing detailed investigations on the control and safety system and investigation Balance of Plant components according to standards in the heating industry.
Besides the technical development work, a larger part of the project was dedicated to the investigation of potential markets, business cases, techno-ecnomic analysis, costs invstigation for different phase of project maturity and finally a LCA to show the advantages of SOFC-based CHP in terms of CO2 emission reductions. From here, requirements for the system design were derived in terms of costs, power and efficiency targets and operational profiles of the “Proof-of-Concept” (PoC) prototype.
1.4.1 WP2–Conceptual design, system specification and simulation
The objectives of WP2 were the assessment of system sizes for the two prototypes and the definition of the system concept and setting of system specifications. This was possible thanks to the development of a system model and a consequent definition of component specifications based on process modelling results. All this information was necessary to be able to carry out correctly the evaluation of end-user integration options and energy management systems.
126.96.36.199 Process simulation
The purpose of the system modelling in WP2 was the development of a system model, execution of optimization simulations and definition of component specifications based on process modelling results.
The detailed system modelling work in this project was divided into two phases. The first phase concentrated on tasks that support the system design and component sizing for the manufacturing. In this phase the feasibility of the original system layout was checked in all relevant operational points (nominal operational point, part load, end of life conditions and using different fuel options from methane rich natural gas to methane lean biogas). Several modifications to the original system layout were required in order to run the system within the complete operational window.
After the first modelling phase the focus of the system modelling work was shifted to optimization of the operational conditions. In this project, the most important parameters to be optimized were the AC efficiency and the total efficiency. To find out optimal operation conditions 5D-multiparametric simulations were carried out by performing a 35 full factorial design. Processing of the raw data was done with multilinear regression model for all output quantities.
For the first prototype, the predicted AC to net efficiency with all parasitic effects taken into account was 44%, which is in good agreement with the experimental testing results. The nominal operational point of the second prototype was set to be on more demanding conditions and the predicted AC to net efficiency was about 49% and the predicted total efficiency about 83%.
188.8.131.52 System specification
System specification were elaborated for the 1st and the 2nd protoype. The aim was to fulfil needs of small scale CHP and off-grid applications concerning high electrical efficiency, part load capability and heating circuit integration. This included determination of final system layout, specification of BoP components, stack sizes and power electronics as well as validation of concept and performance targets.
In addition to the MATLAB® simulations described in Section 184.108.40.206 a steady state flowsheet simulation with PRO II® process simulation software was carried out. Results from the simulation part where used to find the optimal configuration in terms of stack size rate between first and second stage, CPOx air ratio, oxgygen-to-carbon ratio of the steam reforming reactor and fuel utilizations. It turned out that power targes of >5 kWel and efficiency targets of 45%el and 85%total can be achieved, if the system is operated close to the carbon formation limit. To fix this limit, a detaild analysis of the anode-off-gas / natural gas mixture was performed in Task 4.2. A good compromise between economics and efficiency turned out at a cell number ratio of 1:3 between CPOx and steam reforming stage. Finally, it was decided to use a 90 cell stack module for stage 1 and a 240 cell module in stage 2 since these modules are already available.
The selection of components was based on a piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID), which was developed with the help of simulation results. The P&ID was finalized later by means of the HAZOP analysis in order to define the required safety equipment.
A change in the system layout was also defined: It turned out the adiabatic reforming stage will cause some problems with the heat management since the internal reforming rate would be too high. Therefore, it was decided to replace the unit with a heat exchanger integrated reformer.
A system and component specification of both prototype generations was elaborated and filed. The original plan was the design of a sub-scale 1st generation prototype followed by a full-scale 2nd prototype. This plan was changed to two identical system sizes due to stack module availability and avoidance of rescaling of main components.
220.127.116.11 End-customer integration and energy management
The STAGE-SOFC system was designed for small-scale CHP and off-grid applications in the power range of 5 to 50 kW. It operates with natural gas, but also options for operation with biogas and LPG were investigated. The objective of the task is to make a techno-economical study of typical installations in the European countries with varying characteristics in terms of energy requirements. This activity is supported by an evaluation of the SOFC’s integration into existing (e.g. boilers installed, etc..) or new structures.
The results of this study can be summarized as follows:
- Stage SOFC system can’t competitively supply only one average dwelling even reducing its size, this is valid for all countries considered in the analysis (i.e Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK).
- It becomes competitive if it can supply several dwelling, also when compared with different systems (as well as when compared with other fuel cell systems).
- System is not competitive in the market if the natural gas and electricity costs are low, but it becomes very suitable if the electricity to natural gas price ratio is highest.
- Around 5 years PBT is however still a long time if the estimated lifetime is 10 years. In order to start large sales volumes, it is necessary to drop below 3 years. This means a reduction in specific price.
- Until production costs cannot be reduced, it is indispensable to make use of government grants.
- Good lifetime and good availability are essential.
- The limiting factor under energy-economic profile is the total heat consumption especially in the countries in which the thermal demand is low.
- The optimum configuration is linked to total consumption of thermal energy. So the system becomes more feasible for the countries which have a larger thermal energy demand.
1.4.2 WP3–First prototype development and testing
The objective of WP3 was the verification of basic layout and operation concepts using an initial integrated prototype. Instead of a lab-type sub-scale system it was decided to develop a full scale prototype based on already existing stack modules which will finally save time in the development of the final PoC prototype. A further objective was the development of a flexible control system that allows the testing of a larger parameter set like O/C rate, air ratio, fuel utilization or reforming temperature.
18.104.22.168 Module design, P&ID, electrical layout, manufacturing of hotbox
A thermally self-sustained, compact system with flexible fuel supply and load connection was established, whereas the system design was based on existing Integrated Stack Modules (ISMs). The electrical and mechanical design of hotbox and coldbox components was performed.
The outer dimensions of the system are 1450 x 1300 x 2170 mm3 (l x w x h) excluding the electrical cabinet. The exhaust gas suction blower and the heat exchanger for waste heat recovery were placed on top of the unit. The lower part represents the coldbox with valves, mass flow meters and sensors.
The system was installed in SF’s testing lab. Laboratory DC loads were used for the stack operation. Therefore, only the DC power output could be measured, the AC value was calculated using AC/DC converter efficiency targets from the LUT developments.
22.214.171.124 Development of control & safety system
A PLC based control software, graphical user interface and data storage system were developed. Based on input from the HAZOP analysis, the required sensor equipment and safety procedures were defined. Furthermore operation modes (start-up, shut-down, normal operation, safety states) were defined and detailed sequences for all modes were elaborated. A detailed description of these operation modes and an example of a typical control loop is given in chapter 1.4.4 – task 5.2.
The STAGE-SOFC system was equipped with a multistage safety system consisting of three interlock safety levels. Safe system operation is ensured by safety functions like an emergency stop button, temperature and pressure monitoring, hard-wired safety switches for critical parameters, a certified burner safety relay and a test rig gas detector for toxic and explosive gases.
126.96.36.199 System integration and testing
After completed manufacturing, the prototype 1 system was integrated in one of SF’s test stands. The system was then in operation for 6 weeks (about 600 hours) to test and optimize the software, PID controllers, operation procedures and different system parameters. Another important issue was to check the design and function of the coldbox and hotbox components. The main results of the testing are the following:
• Stable operation at 30 ... 100% system load
• Validation of influences of parameter variation on electrical efficiency
• Record of load-efficiency curve
• Testing of operation procedures and part load behaviour
• Experiences regarding system controllability
• Input for improvement of components and system layout
The result of this work package is a first prototype of the STAGE-SOFC concept that has almost achieved the efficiency targets of 50% at one part load point and 45% at 5 kWel which were defined in the project description. While the DC load was measured directly, the AC efficiency was calculated by using state-of-the-art inverter efficiencies.
It was possible to operate and control the system at different loads from 1.5 to 5.3 kWAC. A main part of the work was to study the influence of single parameter variation on the electrical efficiency. Parameters like O/C ratio, CPOx air ratio, and fuel utilization were investigated under constant conditions of other system parameters. It turned out that the O/C ratio has the highest effect on the efficiency. The results were used to support the detailed design of the 2nd prototype.
All in all the testing was very successful which is also due to extended simulations and thorough design of the first prototype. Last but not least the system operation revealed strengths and weaknesses of the current system design which were integrated in the design process of the 2nd prototype. Those are for example a combination of start-up and after burner, an integrated reformer heat exchanger with catalyst coated plates and more efficient heat utilization and distribution.
1.4.3 WP4–Hotbox design and development of key components
The main objective of WP4 was the design of compact stack hotbox and functional integration of parts. Furthermore, key components had to be developed and optimized: adiabatic and heat exchanger integrated steam reforming stage, heat exchangers, and power electronics. The work was supported by modelling efforts and mass-manufacturing investigations.
188.8.131.52 SOFC Hotbox layout and modelling
In WP4, two alternative hotbox concepts were designed that include sophisticated components (e.g. functional integration of start-up burner and afterburner as well as steam reformer). The work was performed in parallel to the WP 3 activities. It has been decided to keep the existing stack modules (90 cells and 240 cells respectively) and to integrate new, cost-effective and function optimized components in a compact hotbox. The component development was supported by CFD analysis. Later on, an optimized hotbox was designed. It reveals the potentials of the STAGE-SOFC concept to gernerate a compact, manufacturing-friendly and cost-effective system.
The detailed system simulations and calculations performed in work package 2 had revealed the need for two important design features in addition to the original STAGE-SOFC concept: 1) an additional cathode air heat exchanger for the fresh air line to the second stage, and 2) a heated steam reformer instead of an adiabatic reformer.
Start-up and afterburner were integrated into one compact, combined burner as shown in Figure 6. The combination reduces the hotbox size and the close thermal integration allows an earlier start of load operation due to the higher temperature in the combined burner. The design of the combined burner was checked by CFD simulations. The simulations from ZUT revealed a complete combustion in the burning chamber, but have also shown some temperature peaks in the diffusion zone.
As a result, the 2nd prototype was designed and constructed. Part of the work was dedicated on the elaboration of design features for the off-grid market, where a further simplification of the system will be necessary to improve the overall robustness and availability.
The objectives of the Hotbox modelling work were to support efforts in the field of manufacturing with an optimized design evaluation by numerical simulations of the SOFC hotbox.
CFD simulations of heat exchangers, combined burner, and stack modules were carried out using the commercially available ANSYS Academic Research CFD software with ANSYS Academic Solid Oxide Fuel Cells module. MATLAB Simulink and ASPEN TECH were used for the BoP modelling of the SOFC power generation system. In addition, HSC investigations were performed to calculate the conditions and regions of depositing filamentous carbon deposists in the CPOx, wet and dry reforming reactions.
The main significant project results within this part consisted in the development of the numerical approaches that enable to predict:
- the capabilities of two towers with eight SOFC stacks regarding a cathode off gas flow distribution. Three cases of the towers with SOFC stacks were considered under different designs without and with air distribution sheet as well as different heat transfer conditions.
- detailed intensity of mass and heat transfer processes in the membrane-electrode assembly of the single planar SOFC based on the fully coupled CFD model.
- heat transfer between the cathode off gas and air inside different plate heat exchanger configurations.
- the burner flow behaviour and emission characteristics
- analysis of the transient response of the reformers, fuel cells and the burner was carried out, based on the model implemented in MATLAB SimulinkR environment. The dynamic behaviour of the system during transient conditions was investigated by the load step changing.
- dynamic response of SOFC stacks was tested using ASPEN Dynamic process simulator tool in order to develop a control strategy of the SOFC power generation system.
- carbon deposition analysis using a CPOx reformer was carried out for selected hydrocarbon fuels such as methane and LPG.
The main contribution was the demonstration of the ability of quantitative prediction of two towers with eight SOFC stacks, heat exchanger, SOFC based power energy system behaviour as well as filamentous carbon impact under different decomposition conditions of hydrocarbons.
Investigation of mass-manufacturing requirements
The objective was the design of a hotbox with the principles of production engineering which needs to be compatible with mass-manufacturing methods to minimize fabrication costs. Further a close integration / functional combination of individual components was aimed to reduce the number of interfaces.
A new hotbox has been designed which not only functionally integrates the main components but also the stacks in a very compact hotbox. The number of interfaces is reduced so that the manufacturing becomes less costly.
184.108.40.206 Adiabatic pre-reforming reactor
A pre-reformer is required before the second stack in STAGE-SOFC system. The anode off-gas is used to reform the fresh natural gas. The work was started by studying the operational window of the reformer, mainly O/C ratio of the gas going to the reformer. The O/C ratio is an important parameter in prediction of carbon formation possibility. The experimental results were compared with thermodynamic calculations on carbon formation and it was observed that the reformer can be operated in thermodynamic carbon formation region without carbon formation in practice.
During the system modelling work in WP2, it was find out that the degree of reforming is not high enough with adiabatic reformer in part load operation. Thus, it was necessary to develop a heated reformer to achieve higher methane conversion. In the first prototype, a solution with two serial connected, adiabatic reformer catalysts with intermediate heating was used. Due to the complex geometry of this heated reformer, a more compact solution was developed for the second prototype using a simple plate-type heat exchanger with a precious metal catalyst coating on the plate surface to reform natural gas with anode-off gas. The heat exchanger reformer was tested in a test bench and the conversion and temperature results were satisfactory. In addition, another heat exchanger reformer was developed and tested as a back-up option. That reformer was tested for 1000 h and the operation was stable. However, that reactor was in dimensions larger than the first one and not suitable for the hotbox integration for that reason.
220.127.116.11 Heat exchanger
The target of TASK 4.3 was an improved heat exchanger design and optimization of material use to meet targets in terms of cost, long-term durability and chromium evaporation minimization. SF has investigated promisiong heat exchanger materials that show high mechanical stabilites at temperatures in excess of 900 °C and low chromium evaporation rates. Tests have been performed in a furnace with an oxidizing atmosphere. At the beginning, just 3000 h were planned, but it turned out that 1) differences will be low at these short exposure times and 2) operation times are too low taking into account that a commercial unit needs to be operated for 60,000 h and more. Finally, the test has been performed for 19,000 h and is still ongoing. Additionally, tests were performed with low-cost bulk materials and applied coatings. However, it was observed that the mass gain is higher, making it questionable whether this material will be stable in the long-run.
Heat exchangers were designed for the different system prototype generations. In parallel, different commercial suppliers, mainly from the automotive industry, were contacted for the technical and financial feasibility in case of large production volumes. These cost estimations were integrated into the analysis in TASK 7.2.
18.104.22.168 Power electronics
The electrical power produced by the fuel cells must be converted to appropriate frequency and voltage so it can be fed to the grid or be used by standard equipment. The nominal peak voltage of fuel cells is commonly limited by its isolation, and therefore a boost conversion is required. This conversion stage conventionally accounts for the electrical isolation between the grid and the fuel cell. The boosting DC-DC converter is also the converter that is in direct interaction with the fuel cell, and therefore the focus of the power electronics research for the fuel cell systems was in the DC-DC converter. In order to achieve high overall efficiency for the electrical conversion, it is crucial that all conversion stages must have very low losses.
The isolating boost converter used in this project was dual active bridge (DAB) converter. DAB was chosen because it has high efficiency at most loading conditions, which can be achieved by soft-switching of the converter.
The dual active bridge converter has multiple degrees of freedom on the way that the converter is controlled. The soft-switching region can be extended from the conventional control by exploiting new degrees of freedom. During the project a new control method that uses a varying switching frequency for the converter was invented. The method allows the converter to be in soft-switching region through the whole operational range.
The dual active bridge converter topology is known to have a phase drift in the transformer voltages. One of the main reasons for the drift is nonlinear dynamics of the power electronic switches as a function of current and voltage. During the project, a method that is able to compensate the drift was found, allowing the converter control to function more accurately.
The studied fuel cell system has two or three fuel cell units, and each unit has to have its own isolating DC-DC converter. These converters are parallelly connected and they feed the power to a central inverter that feeds the power to the AC grid. The power rating for a single DC-DC converter is 2.5 kW.
The converter testing was executed at 20 A input current and with 50 V input voltage, so the peak power was approximately 1 kW. The secondary voltage was controlled to 400 V during the experimental testing. Some problems were encountered in the testing of the prototype. The prototype converter operational power range was limited due to two factors. The first was insufficient conductor cross-section area of certain vias on the printed circuit board, which resulted in overheating of these vias. The second factor was insufficient common-mode rejection ration of the current measurement circuit, which led to current measurement error that is dependent on the common-mode voltage. Despite extensive efforts, a stable operation could not be achieved and the new design had to be abandoned. Instead, an available power electronics solution that was not optimized nor specifically specified for the Stage-SOFC project was used by SF.
1.4.4 WP5–BoP components, control and safety system, certification
The objectives of WP5 were the specification, selection and cost analysis of BoP components, the development of a hotbox control concept for the staged stack design, the safety analysis and determination of safety measures together with the elaboration of certification requirements and related technical solutions.
22.214.171.124 Balance of Plant components
A list of the BoP components as a result of technical market investigations was elaborated with a focus on reliability and durability. Particular attention was paid to the potential cost of the various components in the instance of large sales volumes. The starting point for the costs analysis was to divide the components in three types of product:
- Market-standard components based on mature technology, the cost of this commodity doesn’t change so much with the quantity
- Market-specific components based on mature technology, study-time have been spent by the supplier to reduce significantly the cost when quantity increases.
- Immature component that has required a lot of study time to develop, it is just a prototype phase.
The result of the investigation was a definitive BoP list of components for the prototype, keeping in consideration economical and technical aspects such as durability, reliability and costs in a prospective of a large sales volumes.
126.96.36.199 Hotbox control concept
The target of TASK 5.2 was the development of a simple, robust and failure tolerant control and safety system, using a minimum number of sensors and low-cost components where available. The control system for the first and second prototype was based on an industrial PLC in order to ensure maximum flexibility. The definition of system operation modes with a detailed sequence control was performed. The optimization of start-up and shut-down procedures in combination with load changes was also be addressed. The main control loops to be developed and optimized was the CPOX air ratio control, O/C ratio control of the steam reformer, control of individual stack temperatures, start-up and afterburner temperature and electric load control.
A failure analysis was performed for the ‘calculated’ parameters CPOx air ratio , fuel utilizations and O/C as they are the most critical parameters for system operation. They are calculated from potentially deviating (sensor drift, natural gas composition) flow measurements, which are known to be inaccurate.
All in all the control concept and single functions were adapted very well to the STAGE-SOFC system allowing simple and automatic control of load and performance, which is a requirement for CHP or off-grid applications.
188.8.131.52 Safety system
The objective of the STAGE-SOFC prototype safety studies was to identify and analyse hazards related to the prototypes and to their operation. The main focus was on the hazards which can cause harm to people but also operational problems and equipment failures were considered.
HAZOP technique was selected as the analysis method for the STAGE-SOFC prototype safety studies because it is a widely used method and HAZOP studies have proved to be useful in the development and design phases of new systems. By identifying potential hazards and operability problems in a structured and systematic manner, many improvements and remedial measures were suggested to the prototypes.
184.108.40.206 Certification requirements
For the certification requirements, a list of the applicable directives and normatives have been individuated. The development of the prototype has taken this list as a reference point to be followed during the setup. The detailed list is available in D5.3.
1.4.5 WP6–Prototype integration and testing
The objectives of WP6 are the proof-of-concepts for system development and testing, the assessment of testing results against application derived criteria, the durability testing conducted over several hours and the valuation of results and derivation of measures for next generation prototypes.
220.127.116.11 PoC system design
The 2nd prototype (PoC) system design was based on the results on the SOFC hotbox design, the safety analysis, controly system optimization and the operational results in the 1st prototype. One main safety measure was to keep the system in underpressure mode in order to avoid external leakage by using an exhaust gas blower. This will avoid the necessity of gas sensors in future system installation.
The coldbox was based on a combinaton of dedicated components for the SOFC systems and standard part from the heating industry as recommended by ICI. Power electronics was planned to be delivererd from LUT, however, as described below, a change in the planning was necessary which required an update of project schedule.
18.104.22.168 System assembly and commissioning
The manufacturing of the 2nd prototype was performed by SF. However, it turned out that the power electronics prototype, built by project partner LUT, was unsuitable to be used with a fuel cell due to problems with current measurement and overheating of the circuit board. Therefore, SF decided to built the power electronics based on existing components instead of developing a new solution adapted to the STAGE-SOFC system, with the consequence of lower DC/AC conversion efficiencies. During operation of the 2nd prototype, a defect of the current control occurred. Furthermore the pressure loss over the reformer heat exchanger was too high to reach loads higher than 3 kW. Therefore, a new reformer heat exchanger from an external supplier was integrated in the final system.
Unfortunately, due to a leakage in a natural gas solenoid valve, natural gas was flowing to the anode of the second stage stack module during system heat-up and has caused carbon formation. In the end the stack module was irreversibly damaged. After integration of a new stack module and replacing the reformer heat exchanger, the reworked prototype was ready for commissioning. The software and control procedures of the system were optimized for the final validation phase. Finally the second STAGE-SOFC prototype was operated for 16 days in SF’s SOFC lab under various loads from 3 to 5 kW(AC). All components have shown a good performance and interaction with each other, so the system could be operated in its intended power range.
22.214.171.124 TASK 6.3 PoC system validation
The STAGE-SOFC system was installed into ICI’s testing environment. The system heat-up and transfer to load operation was performed with an automatic sequence control. The system was in load operation for four days and the load was varied from 4.1 to 4.7 kW(AC).
However, an emergency shut-down was initiated by its safety system due to a sudden decrease of one stack voltage of the second stage stack module. A short circuit in the stack module was detected. Additionally, it was found that during the next heat-up the natural gas solenoid valve became untight again, similar to the situation during commissioning of the prototype.
A post mortem analysis of the complete stack module revealed that the underpressure in the stack module housing has caused a contact of the metal sheet of the housing with the stacks, resulting in a short circuit.
The short circuit as well as the carbon formation due to the leaking natural gas valve caused an irreversible damage of the system, which couldn’t be repaired by the end of the project. The performance of the system could be evaluated, but STAGE-SOFC failed to perform the long-term test.
126.96.36.199 PoC system validation and evaluation of results
The system was installed into ICI laboratories which is an integral part of ICI production site. Here, a specific area was modified in order to provide all the gas and fluid required by the system, together with heat removal system, suction hood and gas sensors
A smooth development and integration of STAGE-SOFC system has been done. The system worked automatically long enough to prove that the technology come to TRL 5/6.
With an optimized and adapted power electronics solution an electrical AC net efficiency of 45 to 50% (depending on the system load) were possible. Furthermore, the combined burner and the reformer heat exchanger showed excellent characteristics.
Altogether the results have shown that the STAGE-SOFC system is working and reaching its efficiency targets and can support the reduction of green house gas emissions in the field of micro-CHP. A rigorous product development and field test of a next STAGE-SOFC generation is now necessary to ensure that customer as well as legislative needs are satisfied.
The performance parameters of the second STAGE-SOFC prototype were determined during the commissioning in December 2017. The performance tests were carried out under optimal operating conditions, which were already investigated earlier within work packages 2 and 3. The DC/AC power electronics solution used for the second prototype has shown a poor efficiency (around 87%). For this reason the AC net efficiency of the system was only in the range of 41.7% to 45.3%. Therefore, a theoretical performance with an optimized power electronics efficiency of 94% was calculated. This value is based on power electronics efficiencies that already have been achieved in other SF systems.
Finally, an assessment of the development of key components was performed. A main improvement of the air heat exchangers in prototype 2 was the standardization of the plate sizes of first and second stage heat exchangers. Thus, a mechanical coupling of both was possible. Furthermore, the parallel connection of the heat exchangers on the exhaust gas side has reduced the pressure loss. For reforming of fresh natural gas with anode-off gas a reformer heat exchanger with catalyst coated plates was used. The performance couldn’t be measured, however, the operability of the overall system was improved. The new combined burner design, which integrates a start-up burner and afterburner functionality into one device has shown significant advantages in comparison to the separate arrangement in the first prototype like excellent reliability, reduced heat-up time and safe combustion of anode-off gas in all operation modes.
Table 1. Operating and performance parameters at different loads.
Load - 3 kW 4 kW 4,8 kW 5 kW
I1 A 17.90 25.10 31.60 33.10
U1(cell) V 0.80 0.75 0.69 0.67
P1 kW(DC) 1.30 1.69 1.96 2.00
FU1 - 70.0% 70.0% 70.0% 70.0%
λ(CPOX) - 0.32 0.31 0.30 0.29
I2 A 12.20 17.00 21.50 22.50
U2(cell) V 0.82 0.79 0.77 0.76
P2 kW(DC) 2.39 3.22 3.94 4.10
FU2 - 80.0% 80.0% 80.0% 80.0%
O/C - 1.69 1.67 1.65 1.63
Actual performance with inefficient power electronics
η(el,DC) - 55.7% 53.4% 51.1% 51.0%
η(el,PE) - 86.6% 88.0% 87.1% 87.2%
η(el,AC) - 45.3% 43.8% 41.6% 41.7%
P(el,AC) kW(AC) 3.00 4.03 4.80 5.00
Theoretical performance with optimized power electronics
η(el,PE) - 94.0% 94.0% 94.0% 94.0%
η(el,AC) - 49.4% 47.0% 45.1% 45.2%
P(el,AC) kW(AC) 3.27 4.32 5.21 5.40
As already described, the power electronics solution used for the second STAGE-SOFC prototype was not adapted to the special needs of the system. Unfortunately, the LUT solution turned out to be not mature enough to be integrated in a prototype system.
The exhaust gas suction blower used in the STAGE system belongs to the cold BoP components with potential for improvement. The current suction blower is noisy and the blower efficiency is with maximum 25% on a very low level. Also the temperature resistance of the blower is with 50 °C too low for operation with a connected heating circuit.
1.4.6 WP7–Market, techno-economic and environmental studies
The objectives included the evaluation of business cases for European markets, cost analysis of the state-of-the-art system and production in larger quantities, definition of operation requirements based on the most-promising business case and evaluation of CO2 emission mitigation.
188.8.131.52 Business cases
In task 7.1 the market segments for integrated, heat-driven fuel cell CHP solutions in specific local markets for certain application areas were investigated.
The chosen local markets were countries with characteristics most suitable for STAGE-SOFC:
1. Germany is Europe´s biggest economy and has the highest consumption of energy. Because of the very high spark spread (difference between natural gas and electricity price) it is attractive for every kind of CHP solutions.
2. United Kingdom has a very high share of gas based heating systems. The energy consumption and the spark spread are also very high.
3. Italy was chosen as a represent southern Europe country, were not all buildings need a heating system. The spark spread is close to the European average.
4. Poland was chosen as an Eastern Europe country. The spark spread and the energy consumption are close to the European average and the income is lower. Because a higher share of old technologies, Poland has a CO2 intensive Power mix.
The analysis was focused on the commercial market scale (5-400 kWel) which was separated into segments. Apartment, agricultural and storage buildings were chosen for the 5 kWel Segment. The 25 kWel segment included retail and office buildings. For the 100 kWel market some special industrial consumers were chosen e.g. data centres, wastewater treatment facilities or heat intensive industrial manufacturing.
The assumptions were divided into two phases, the market entry phase and the phase for a fully developed market. The market entry phase would most likely be a three year period (i.e. from 2017 – 2020) with the numbers of units sold would in average sum up to the data shown in Table 2. The annual sales in market entry phase were estimated to be altogether about 30 M€.
Table 2. Share of market (SAM) in Germany, UK and Italy during the market entry phase.
Size kWel Germany United Kingdom Italy
Market Share Units/a Market Share Units/a Market Share Units/a
5 1% 59 1% 50 1% 21
25 1% 39 1% 74 1% 36
The developed market phase assumes that the market entry has successfully been achieved and a market penetration around 5% of the QAM could be reached. The prices for the systems were set to 6000 €/kWel for the 5 kWel system and 4000 €/kWel for the 25 kWel system, bringing the systems close to grid parity. After a three to five years market entry phase the market would be well developed with a significantly higher market penetration at lower prices. The numbers of units sold at the developed market phase are shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Share of market (SAM) in Germany, UK and Italy during the developed market phase.
Size kWel Germany United Kingdom Italy
Market Share units/a Market Share units/a Market Share units/a
5 10% 591 3% 151 5% 104
25 5% 195 5% 370 5% 181
Based on the market analysis the estimates for the market potential range from 40 M€/a in the market entry phase to 100 M€/a in a fully developed market for 5 kWel and 25 kWel units of the STAGE-SOFC system. Knowing the assumptions are very generic the following numbers should be used with care and an awareness of the uncertainty that lies behind the figures. However the big picture of the market potential is shown and shows the attractiveness for the STAGE-SOFC system at least in niche markets with potential to higher volumes if the benefits of the system should resonate in the market.
184.108.40.206 Cost analysis
The primary focus of the STAGE-SOFC concept was the stationary market, where it will generate considerable customer value as a result of reduced operating costs (higher efficiency) and reduced capital costs (low system complexity). The key USP of SOFC systems is their high electrical efficiency. Relevant market segments for stationary SOFC products are determined on the basis of the benefit derived by the end customer. The cost analysis focused on these three market segments:
• microCHP – power range 1-10 kW,
• off-grid – independent power supply in remote locations,
• small CHP – power range 10 to several 100 kW operated with natural gas or biogas.
Starting from the unit structure and actual manufacturing costs of the second STAGE-SOFC prototype, the cost analysis and cost projection for production of larger quantities was carried out.
SF has a very clear cost reduction pathway at stack level, since not all measures that result in cost reduction will finally be successful, two scenarios were considered: a conservative scenario (base case) and a more ambitious case. The cost projection at system level is more uncertain, since there are still many options to optimize the system in terms of functioning, complexity and costs. Here, the cost analysis and projection was started from the actual manufacturing costs of prototype 2 referred to as recent costs. The total system costs were normalized to a power output of 5 kW, providing enough degradation reserve for keeping the power output constant over the first 10,000 operation hours.
The cost degression on system level at larger production quantities can be realized with two different features. The first feature is a decrease of specific material costs by quantity, taking into account the discount for standard components as well as for customized components when buying large quantities. The second feature is a reduction of production costs, that means hours for assembly of a subunit or a complete unit, by a more simple design of the unit or by improvement of the manufacturing process. Furthermore material cost reductions by research and development can be considered with a fixed cost degression rate.
The resulting curve for the predicted production volume and specific costs was devided into three phases. The first phase (2017 - 2019) is comprising a fundamental optimization of the current prototype system towards a marketable product. The manufacturing costs are still very high in phase I, which means that only niche markets with a high cost tolerance like off-grid applications can be served. In phase II (2019 - 2021) the manufacturing costs decrease considerably with increasing production volume, reaching the level of 9,000 €/kW, which was identified as the target price for the market entry in the 5 kWel CHP sector. In phase III starting from 2021, the manufacturing costs fall below the level of 6,000 €/kW with the possibility to enter the mass market with a production volume of more than 1,000 units per year.
The analysis of the cost distribution reveals that the “Stack Unit” is by far the most expensive system part and also remains in this position in the future. That means that the stack costs are of great importance and determine if the complete system can be economically successful. A clear path to the market for the STAGE-SOFC system was defined and strategies and measures to achieve the ambitious cost targets for a market entry were indicated.
220.127.116.11 Techno-economic studies
The techno-economic feasibility of three chosen applications for the STAGE-SOFC system was assessed in this task. These applications were:
1. a 5 kWe combined heat and power (CHP) system for a several apartments house with natural gas as fuel.
2. a 50 kWel combined heat and power (CHP) system for a small farm that is fuelled with biogas from anaerobic digestion plant utilising animal manure and other agricultural bio waste.
3. a 5 kWe system off-grid application again with natural gas as fuel.
Case studies were carried out for applications 1 and 2 and the considered countries were United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Poland. The application 3 was not considered country-specific. In the application 1 and the application 2, the design of the system was aimed to fulfil the average electricity demand, and the additional peak electricity demand would be fulfilled by purchasing electricity from the grid. The revenues in the calculation of feasibility (net present value, NPV) were the savings when electricity and heat were not purchased from the grid or local producer. Thus instead of real income the revenues in the calculation were “saved” costs. The retail electricity price for consumers used as revenue in this study included taxes, levies, network costs and profit for the electricity producer. Heat price estimate was calculated based on the natural gas price.
The owners purchasing the 5 kWel CHP STAGE-SOFC system fuelled with natural gas were assumed to be consumers (a group of households in an apartment house). Different combinations of full load hours, degradation rate, system cost and country-specific prices and subsidies were assessed.
Three parameters (worst, baseline, best) were used for system related costs (investment and stack replacement costs, and degradation of the fuel cell stacks). Germany turned out to be the most potential country, in which the case with baseline parameters and 6000-7000 full load hours was profitable. In Italy the system with baseline parameters was nearly feasible, and minor changes may change the baseline system feasibility. In UK and Poland the baseline system was not feasible. A more detailed sensitivity analysis was carried out for Germany. It showed that to attain the baseline degradation rate is an important target, apparently even more important than the decrease of the investment, stack replacement and annual maintenance cost. It also showed that if assuming that the stack replacement cost decreased 5% every year, the baseline case with 4000 h at full load was feasible even with the highest stack replacement cost. This assumption had such a significant impact to the feasibility that it could probably make the baseline Italian and UK cases feasible too.
The 50 kWe CHP STAGE-SOFC application was targeted to a small farm. The fuel was biogas derived from an anaerobic digester which feedstock was manure and agricultural waste from farm. Biogas cost was assumed to be 20-41 €/MWh. In case of UK, Italy and Germany, the profitability of the farm application was reached with baseline system cost and baseline degradation at 6000-7000 full load hours. The German case was the most feasible. Main challenges for the farm application are the high investment cost of the combined digestion plant and the STAGE-SOFC system for a small farm. However, the outstanding power to heat ratio of the STAGE-SOFC system compared to the competitors would be a benefit. The important task would be to identify the types of farms, which heat and power demand profile would suit to the power to heat ratio of the STAGE-SOFC system best.
Off-grid power generation is a niche market but a valuable business case that supports growth in other markets as the CAPEX reduction take place. The most important parameters were in addition to electricity cost a high reliability and a long maintenance interval. The results showed that the off-grid STAGE-SOFC application could be competitive at the niche market of off-grid generation in cases where the characteristics of the STAGE-SOFC system are required.
As a conclusion of the feasibility assessment, the off-grid application is clearly the most potential market entry phase product. Based on the results of CHP applications, the most promising countries are Germany and Italy, followed by UK. In addition, the profitability of the CHP cases with 4000 full load hours requires both low system cost and low degradation to be feasible. The important targets would be to obtain the baseline system cost and the baseline level degradation in order to reach the feasibility for CHP applications. The annual decrease (5%) in stack replacement cost would significantly improve the feasibility of the system. Positive sign for the future of small scale distributed energy production is the planned netmetering, option to sell or purchase electricity from/to grid depending on the production and demand at relatively low cost.
18.104.22.168 Potential mitigation of CO2 emissions
The impact of the STAGE-SOFC system on Global Warming Potential (GWP) was screened by carrying out a streamlined LCA analysis of CO2-eq emissions. Streamlined analysis takes into account the main sources of emissions but ignores insignificant emissions sources. Based on the literature study, the operation of a SOFC system causes the highest emissions, whereas the disposal phase is negligible and the manufacturing phase insignificant. Two fuels were included into analysis, natural gas and biogas produced from manure. The two scenarios were compared to reference scenarios of separate power and heat production; electricity production in large scale by either coal combustion (electrical efficiency 39% LHV) or natural gas -fuelled gas turbine combined cycle (electrical efficiency 55% LHV), and heat production by residential boiler fuelled by either coal or natural gas (thermal efficiency 85%). Median electrical efficiencies of the power plants were chosen for the reference scenarios.
The result of the natural gas-fuelled STAGE-SOFC CHP system showed that 21% of CO2-eq. emissions would be avoided if the STAGE-SOFC system were used instead of a GTCC and NG -fired residential boiler. 52% of CO2-eq. emissions would be avoided, if the STAGE-SOFC system replaced a coal power plant and NG-fired residential boiler, and 55% of CO2-eq. emissions would be avoided, if the STAGE-SOFC system was replaced by a coal power plant and coal -fired residential boiler. The CO2-eq emissions of biogas-fuelled STAGE-SOFC system consisted only of the STAGE-SOFC system manufacturing and biogas production process, because biogas derived from manure is considered biogenic fuel, and GWP impact includes only CO2-eq emissions from fossil origin. CO2-eq emission estimate of biogas production was based on literature. The biogas –fuelled STAGE-SOFC CHP system had lower CO2-eq emissions than NG –fuelled. When comparing to reference systems, 70% of CO2-eq. emissions would be avoided if the biogas fuelled STAGE-SOFC system were used instead of a GTCC and NG-fired residential boiler. 82% of CO2-eq. emissions would be avoided, if the biogas fuelled STAGE-SOFC system were replaced by a coal power plant and NG-fired residential boiler, and 84% of CO2-eq. emissions would be avoided, if the STAGE-SOFC system replaced a coal power plant and coal -fired residential boiler.
Strategic focus of the Annual Implementation Plan
• Decarbonisation and reductions in CO2 emissions
The reduction of CO2 emissions of at least 20% by 2020 is a primary EU target. It has been shown via LCA analysis that the SOFC-based CHP system is able to reduce CO2 emissions by minimum 20% compared to central power generation using natural gas and residential boilers. Even higher reductions can be achieved compared to coal-based power reduction. An operation with biogas or sewage gas as alternative fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 70% and more. The STAGE-SOFC concept system layout makes it possible to achieve high electrical efficiencies (> 45%LHV at nominal operation (> 50%LHV, without the need of an external water supply.
• Implementation of a closed carbon cycle
SF’s business mission is to close the carbon cycle. It therefore develops the SOEC technology required in order to generate synthetic natural gas (SNG) using CO2 and fluctuating renewable electricity. The proposed technology solution also achieves higher overall efficiency during the conversion of electricity to SNG. The reconversion of methane to electricity is most efficient when carried out using a SOFC system that reaches an electrical efficiency of up to 50%. SF has build a reversible SOC system within the project GrInHy, where results of the STAGE-SOFC project are included.
• Improvement of air quality
Besides CO2 emission reductions, fuel cell systems doesn’t emit NOx or SO2. Stronger emission regulations would help to support the introduction of clean energy generation systems. Here, politics is asked to support technologies with a suitable legal framework.
• Energy security
Energy source security and the availability of affordable electricity and heat are two social and political factors focused on in EU energy policy. Successful introduction of CHP systems can contribute to reductions in energy costs if they are able to achieve competitive system prices. Using renewable fuels or SNG decreases the dependency from energy imports.
• International competitiveness
The majority of fuel cell systems are currently developed in Japan and the USA. Highly-innovative concepts are required in order to remedy existing fuel cell system disadvantages and in turn keep pace with competition in the sector. One advantage that Europe enjoys is its strong, innovative foundation for research. Cooperation with leading research institutions in relevant fields contributes to rapid, high-quality development which can subsequently be used by industrial partners.
Market penetration with fuel cell system is difficult due to high initial system costs. It requires public funding or niche markets to increase production volumes. The European market is strong enough to get fuel cell systems into operation if legal hurdles are banned (e.g. freedom to feed electricity into the grid at fair compensations).
FC-based CHP systems will require investment and create new jobs across a wide range of industries such as suppliers of components and services, system integrators, installers and service providers. Precise quantification of potential employment is difficult at the current stage of the project, as production planning has not yet occurred and it has not been decided which components are to be manufactured in-house and which are to be sourced from suppliers.
MAIP area 3.3.3: Stationary Power Generation & Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
The Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) and Multi-Annual Implementation Plan (MAIP) defines in area Stationary Power Generation & Combined Heat and Power (CHP) following targets:
• 45% electrical efficiency (power-only systems)
• 80% overall power efficiency
• Lower emissions than incumbent technologies
• Lifetime requirement of 40,000 hours for cells and stacks
• Cost targets for small-scale CHP units: 4000 €/kW (100+ units); 2000 €/kW (50,000 units)
Within performance tests of prototype 1 and 2 system efficiencies of 47%LHV,AC at nomimal load and 50%LHV,AC in part load were achieved. Mature SOFC systems have proven that total efficiencies of 95% LHV can be achieved. Within STAGE-SOFC, overall efficiencies of up to 75% could be shown, higher efficiencies will be possible with an improved thermal integration of the hotbox. The PoC system wasn’t optimized in a way which ensures complete thermal integration and minimization of heat losses. However, simulations have shown that the targets are possible.
Emissions are inherently lower in FC systems than in gas motors, gas turbines or similar CHP modules, especially concerning NOx, SO2 and particulates.
CHP applications require a lifetime of at least 40,000 h. This couldn’t be proven with the STAGE-SOFC prototypes. However, it was shown that SF stacks achieve >20,000 h in µCHP systems (Vaillant) and >25,000 h in an off-grid power generator. SF has set out a clear path towards the doubling of the system lifetime with the aid of various measures at cell and stack level. The STAGE-SOFC project contributed to the increase of knowledge concerning operation strategies and critical operation modes where stacks might be damaged (thermo-mechanical stresses, carbon formation).
European approach and complementary national and international research activities:
The project partners possed complementary expertise and formed a very strong European Consortium that is capable of commercializing the project results. The project’s partners linked it to numerous past and ongoing EU projects. The techno-economic evaluation task included in the proposed project was linked to the SOFCOM project, which studies and evaluates small-scale biogas and SOFC-based CHP systems. VTT was responsible for this activity within the framework of both projects, and therefore ensured the smooth transfer of information.
SF and VTT are partners in the project GrInhy, where results of the natural gas processing investigation within STAGE-SOFC were used to develop a reversible SOC system based on natural gas for the reconversion of gas to electricity.
ICI is a partner in the ReforCELL project (FCH-JU-2010-1). Its active role consists in the integration of a new FP system based on LT-PEMFC and the evaluation of cost, industrialization and impact on the market.
The dissemination of the achieved results, the transfer of knowledge and technology related to the fuel cells as well as the creation of awareness about the applications of the SOFC based power generation systems are the key factors in the project and represent an integral part of the work of the project within the WP8. Therefore, all partners were encouraged to get involved in the dissemination activities. In this context, the following list of tasks was implemented to execute dissemination actions:
• promotion of the project to targeted audiences through the website,
• presentation of the project results at conferences, workshops and other fuel cell events,
• preparation of papers and scientific publications for journals,
• organisation of thematic symposium,
• development of relations to other European research projects,
• involvement in the users communities.
Dissemination activities, which have been carried out during the project are detailed presented in detail in the following sections.
The main target of our dissemination activities were industrial players: suppliers and system integrators that transfer technology as well as industrial entrepreneurs that adopt a new technology into the market. It is of critical importance to ensure that implementation of the new technology into the market will be based on knowledge. In order to do so, the project partnerts attract the public community by promoting the benefits of the SOFC based system. Through the participation in the fuel cell trade fairs and events the consortium tried to convince the sceptical players and end users about the benefits of the fuel cell technology. This practice was aimed at influencing on the political decision makers as well.
The next target group was the academic players: students, young scientists and engineers, who were advised on the methods in the field of fuel cell and outcomes related to the project. Academic institutions were represented within the project by two project partners: LUT and ZUT. Three PhD and one Master students have been involved in the project.
In order to reach the different target audiences identified in the Deliverable D8.2. Plan for dissemination activities, the following communication material was produced.
• Logo, poster and presentation templates
Project logo, poster and presentation templates have been prepared and used for publicizing the project during the workshops, conferences and meetings. The communication materials made available for partners on the web platform SharePoint protected by passwords (private part for the project partners only).
• STAGE-SOFC website
The STAGE-SOFC website http://www.stage-sofc-project.eu/ is the reference point for the public and scientific community and for the dissemination. It is intended to external communication providing public access to the project’s information.
• Internal project portal
The web platform SharePoint is the central feature for collecting information that revolves around the project. It is intented to internal communication and exchange of information, documents between the project partners. The project portal is accessible only to the project partners.
• Publication of scientific papers
The privileged way to reach the academic community is scientific publications in journals and conference proceedings targeting the field of fuel cell and related technologies such as mechanical, electrical or chemical engineerings. Sixteen scientific papers were published in the project. An updated list of publications related to the STAGE-SOFC project is given later in Chapter 2.
• Communication events: conferences and seminars
To improve visibility and support the dissemination effort, the STAGE-SOFC consortium has organized and participated in a number of events such as conferences, symposium, seminars, meetings, worskhops, trade fairs related to the fuel cell topics.
The STAGE-SOFC consortium has organized the Symposium “Fuel cells – energy and transportation – design, prototyping, implementation, which took place in Szczecin, Poland in the Regional Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer on 22nd of April 2015. More than 90 participants attended the one-day event. The Symposium consisted of a series of presentations referred to fuel cell technology.
Two keynote speakers highlighted important developments in the field of fuel cells. Dr Erich Erdle, from efceco, Germany, presented the lecture on “Fuel cells – their history, their presence and their future role”. Dr Ulf Bossel, ALMUS AG, Switzerland, discussed selected approaches for generation, compression, transportation, storage and conversion hydrogen to electricity.
The STAGE-SOFC project partners participated in conferences and other major events related to the main topics of the project in order to give rise to deeper discussion on its results and benefit from possible feedback from other experts in the fuel cell research area.
The STAGE-SOFC project was presented at the EUROPACAT conference in Italy as well as ESCRE – European Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering in Germany or International Symposium on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in USA.
• Trade fairs and exhibitions
The STAGE-SOFC industrial project partners attended several technical fairs and exhibitions. They gave technical talked to the fuel cell community during the Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Feull Cell in Hannover or F-cell Stuttgart. Trade fairs stimulated the discussion and innovation concerning fuel cells based power energy systems. The industrial partners have participated in the following fairs and exhibitions:
- Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cell, Hannover Fair, 08/04/2014, Hannover, Germany.
- F-cell Stuttgart, 07/10/2014, Stuttgart, Germany.
- Enertec Leipzig, 29/01/2015, Leipzig, Germany.
- E-world Energy + Water, 10/02/2015, Essen, Germany.
- FC EXPO, Tokyo, 25/02/2015, Tokyo, Japan.
- Distributed Energy & NG Energy Expo China, 01/04/2015, Beijing, China.
- Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cell, Hannover Fair, 13/04/2015, Hannover, Germany.
- Progress in Fuel Cell Systems, 9th Workshop, 31 May – 1 June 2016, Bruges
- Progress in Fuel Cell Systems, 8th Workshop, 1 – 2 June 2016, Bruges
• Education seminars
In order to attract young scientists and engineers attentions, lectures and demonstrations in numerical labs using Ansys Fluent and Aspen Tech tools were organized. Participants, mainly students had got an unique opportunity for a complete update on all aspects of numerical simulations of the fuel cell based systems. The aim of these lectures that were carried out during the courses: “CFD in Chemical Engineering” or “Hybrid sources of energy” was to present to the participants basic information in the core topics that constitute the multidisciplinary area of chemistry, mass and heat transfer, electrochemical phenomena and mathematical modelling.
• Development of a wide community of researchers
Through the Erasmus+ researcher exchange program, a representative from ZUT delivered guest lectures at the University of Ostrava, Czech Republic. The visit was focused on demonstrating the achievements of the project and on promoting the numerical results.
• Links and exploitation of liaison with other EU Projects and the Commission
The STAGE-SOFC consortium put an effort in maintaining the cooperation established during the previous years with a number of EU projects and initiatives including SUAV, SAPIENS, SAFARI and projects as well as different research networking programme. At VTT the techno-economic evaluation (T7.3) and potential mitigation of CO2 emissions (T7.4) were linked to the SOFCOM project (FCH-JU-2010-1 GA 278798), which also studied and evaluated small-scale biogas and SOFC-based CHP systems. ZUT was part of the FP7 SOFC projects SUAV: “Microtubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell power system development and integration into a Mini-UAV”, SAPIENS: “SAPIENS – SOFC Auxiliary Power In Emissions/Noise Solutions” that were completed on 30/11/2015 and 31/10/2015, respectively. In addition, ZUT was also involved in the 7th Framework Programme under the FCH JU in the project with an acronym SAFARI: “SOFC Apu For Auxiliary Road-Truck Installations”. The SAFARI project was finished on 31/12/2017.
• Project meetings
Several project meetings were organized to ensure good internal communication and cooperation between the project partners. The list of the project meetings is given herein:
▪ project kick off meeting, 2-3/04/2014, Dresden
▪ 6 month progress meeting, 8-9/10/2014, Helsinki
▪ 12 month progress meeting, 23/05/2015, Szczecin
▪ 18 month progress meeting, 7-8/10/2015, Dresden
▪ 24 month progress meeting, 12-14/04/2016, Lappenranta
▪ 30 month progress meeting, 18-19/10/2016, Verona
▪ 42 month progress meeting, 25-26/09/2017, Verona.
The current monitoring of the dissemination activities helps to track the project evolution and to identify the innovative points of the project that have been shared and communicated. The project success in the dissemination activities carried out by all the project partners, generated interest at the industrial partners, stakeholders, academic institutions as well as policy makers. One of the main aim of the dissemination activities was to spread the project’s message under the tagline: “innovative SOFC system – the only one source of energy and heat – that you need” and to attract the public and industrial communities by promoting the capacities of the SOFC based power generation system. The best evidence for the consortium’s active involvement in the dissemination field is the following summary:
- 16 scientifics papers in journals,
- 7 oral presentations at international conferences,
- 1 organized fuel cells symposium,
- 8 posters at international conferences,
- 11 participations in the trade fairs,
- 5 participations in exhibitions,
- 3 PhD theses,
- 1 Master thesis
List of Websites:
Contact: Dr Matti Reinikainen, VTT, P.O.Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant agreement ID: 621213
1 April 2014
30 April 2018
€ 3 921 223,10
€ 2 165 724,60
Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy
Deliverables not available
Publications not available
Grant agreement ID: 621213
1 April 2014
30 April 2018
€ 3 921 223,10
€ 2 165 724,60
Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy
Grant agreement ID: 621213
1 April 2014
30 April 2018
€ 3 921 223,10
€ 2 165 724,60
Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy